National Report on Schooling in Australia 2011

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education

7.3 Attendance (Second Page)

Continued from previous page...

 

7.3.2 Progression

An apparent grade progression rate estimates the progression of students from one school grade (year level) to the next and is a specific application of the apparent retention rate. It is calculated as the number of full-time students in a designated grade/year level as a percentage of the number enrolled in the grade/year level below in the previous calendar year, at the time of the annual August schools census.

Apparent grade progression rates from Years 8 to 12 are not KPMs for schooling but, when compared by Indigenous status, provide information on the points at which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students leave school. ‘Progression ratios for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ is specified as a performance indicator in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan 2010–2014.

As Table 7.6 shows, nearly all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students proceeded to Year 10 in 2011. However, compared to non-Indigenous students, higher proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students left school before completing senior school studies. The percentage point gaps for the apparent progression rates between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous students increased markedly for Year 10–11 and Year 11–12.

Comparative Indigenous and non-Indigenous apparent

Notes:

Apparent grade progression rates measure the number of full-time school students in a designated Year (level) of education as a percentage of their respective cohort group in the previous calendar year (the base year). Ungraded students are not included.

Care should be taken when interpreting these rates since a range of factors affecting the calculation are not taken into account, such as migration, students repeating a year of schooling and changes to part-time and full-time attendance patterns. These factors may account for apparent grade progression rates exceeding 100%.

Percentage point gap calculations are based on unrounded data.

The above apparent grade progression rates are not published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2011. They can, however, be derived using full-time student counts that are included in that publication.

The above apparent grade progression rates reflect single year increments of the apparent retention rate concept published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2011. The above apparent grade progression rates do not rely on population data, unlike the progression rates published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2011.

Issues that may affect comparability over time can be found in the Explanatory Notes of the source publication.

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2011

See also Additional Statistics Table 45

 


Table 7.7 presents national apparent grade progression rates by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) status and the percentage point gaps over the period 2007–11.

Comparative Indigenous7.7

Notes:

Apparent grade progression rates measure the number of full-time school students in a designated Year (level) of education as a percentage of their respective cohort group in the previous calendar year (the base year). Ungraded students are not included.

Care should be taken when interpreting these rates since a range of factors affecting the calculation are not taken into account, such as migration, students repeating a year of schooling and changes to part-time and full-time attendance patterns. These factors may account for apparent grade progression rates exceeding 100%.

Percentage point gap calculations are based on unrounded data.

The apparent grade progression rates above are not published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2011. They can, however, be derived using full-time student counts that are included in that publication.

The above apparent grade progression rates reflect single year increments of the apparent retention rate concept published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2011.

The above apparent grade progression rates do not rely on population data, unlike the progression rates published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2011.

Issues that may affect comparability over time can be found in the Explanatory Notes of the source publication.

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2011

See also Additional Statistics Table 45
 


In 2011, the gap between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous apparent grade progression rates from Year 9 to Year 10 narrowed to 2.8 per cent compared to a gap of 7.4 per cent in 2007.

These changes coincided with the adoption of the National Youth Participation Requirement in 2010 (requiring students to complete Year 10 and to remain at school or an approved alternative until they turn 17) in New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, joining other jurisdictions which had already implemented this requirement.

The gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous rates widened as students moved from Year 10 to Year 11 and towards the end of schooling. While the non-Indigenous progression rate remained above 90 per cent, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rate was below 80 per cent.

Between 2010 and 2011 there was a decrease of nearly three percentage points in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 10 to 11 progression, while there was little change for non-Indigenous students. This is not surprising in that it may reflect the postponement of decisions to leave school from Year 9 to the end of Year 10 for this cohort.

As students moved to Year 12 in 2011, the non-Indigenous apparent grade progression rate remained above 85 per cent and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rate remained below 70 per cent.
 

7.3.3 Retention

Apparent retention rates estimate the percentage of students who progress from the first year of secondary school (Year 7 or Year 8 depending on the jurisdiction) to Year 10 and Year 12. Apparent retention rates for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students are included in Key Performance Measure 7(h) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2010. ‘Retention rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ is specified as a performance indicator in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010–2014.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Closing the Gap targets include halving the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other students in the completion of Year 12 or its equivalent or Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificate II by 2020.

Secondary school apparent retention rates from Year 7/8 to Year 10 and Year 7/8 to Year 12 do not directly measure progress towards this target but are related to its Year 12 completion component.

Tables 7.8 and 7.9 show comparative apparent retention rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous students for 2011 and the period 2007–11.

Comparative Indigenous7.8

Notes:

The apparent retention rate measures the number of full-time school students in a designated level/year of education as a percentage of their respective cohort group in a base year. The base year is the first year of secondary school – Year 7 in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT; Year 8 in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. Ungraded students are not included in the calculations.

Factors that may affect apparent retention rates at the national level include international migration, students repeating a year of education, students changing between full-time and part-time study and age requirements for participation in education. These factors may account for apparent retention rates exceeding 100%.

Apparent retention rates for Indigenous students can be affected by the disposition to identify as Indigenous over time.

Issues that may affect comparability over time can be found in the Explanatory Notes of the source publication.

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2011

See also Additional Statistics Table 46

Comparative Indigenous7.9

Notes:

The apparent retention rate measures the number of full-time school students in a designated level/year of education as a percentage of their respective

cohort group in a base year. The base year is the first year of secondary school – Year 7 in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT; Year 8 in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. Ungraded students are not included in the calculations.

Factors that may affect apparent retention rates at the national level include international migration, students repeating a year of education, students changing between full-time and part-time study and age requirements for participation in education. These factors may account for apparent retention rates exceeding 100%.

Apparent retention rates for Indigenous students can be affected by the disposition to identify as Indigenous over time.

Issues that may affect comparability over time can be found in the Explanatory Notes of the source publication.

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2011

See also Additional Statistics Table 46

 

Indigenous student apparent retention rates at the national level are rising but they are still substantially lower than those of non-Indigenous students for apparent retention to Year 12.

In 2011, the apparent retention rate for Indigenous full-time students from Year 7/8 to Year 10 was 99 per cent. This continued an increasing trend from 2009 with an increase of eight percentage points from 91 per cent in 2009. The increases in 2010 and 2011 coincided with the adoption of the National Youth Participation Requirement (requiring students to complete Year 10 and to remain at school or an approved alternative until they turn 17) in New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, joining other jurisdictions, which had already implemented this requirement.

Apparent retention rates from Year 7/8 to Year 12 for Indigenous students increased six percentage points, from 43 per cent in 2007 to 49 per cent in 2011. The gaps in Year 7/8 to Year 10 apparent retention rates between Indigenous students and non-Indigenous students have reduced by approximately six percentage points since 2007, with a gap of less than three percentage points in 2011. However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are still much less likely than non-Indigenous students to undertake Year 12 (49 per cent compared with 81 per cent in 2011) with the gap between the two groups remaining steady in recent years.

 

Figures 7.3 and 7.4 illustrate gaps in apparent retention rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in the period 2007–11.

 

Comparative Indigenous and non-Indigenous7.3

 

Comparative Indigenous and non-Indigenous7.4

 

 

7.3.4 Attendance

KPM 7(b) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia is defined as:

The number of actual full-time equivalent student-days attended by full-time students in Years 1 to 10 as a percentage of the total number of possible student-days attended over the period.

This is also the performance indicator for attendance adopted in the National Education Agreement (NEA) and for reporting attendance rates in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010–2014 2011 Annual Report.

However, because the definitions and methodologies used by jurisdictions and sectors to collect the 2011 (and previous years) data are not uniform, accurate comparisons between jurisdictions and sectors cannot currently be made. Nor can the data collected in 2011 be aggregated or averaged to calculate KPM 7(b) at the national level.

All States and Territories and the non-government sectors are collaborating to standardise their collections in cooperation with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). These standards will enable consistent and comparable reporting of attendance rates for students in Years 1 to 10 (including ungraded students where applicable) across all sectors and jurisdictions in Australia for the 2014¹ collection period and onwards.

Further care should be exercised in relation to student attendance data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students due to low student numbers in some jurisdictions and sectors especially for Catholic and independent schools.

Tables 42, 43 and 44 in Part 9: Additional Statistics show 2011 student attendance data by:
 

  • Indigenous status
  • school sector
  • state and territory
  • year level.

Tables 42, 43 and 44 depict data for the government, Catholic and independent sectors respectively. The comments below for each sector refer to the data in these tables and the corresponding tables in the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 publications of the National Report on Schooling in Australia. The comments should be read in conjunction with these tables and with the Explanatory notes for the 2011 student attendance data.

In 2011 the generally higher rate of attendance for non-Indigenous students compared to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students continued.
 

Government school sector

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander attendance rates did not equal or exceed those of non-Indigenous students in any year level for the government sector in 2011. Generally for the 2011 collection period, student attendance rates were at or above 80 per cent for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across government schools, with the exceptions of Year 10 in Victoria and Tasmania; Years 9 and 10 in New South Wales and Queensland; Years 8, 9 and 10 in South Australia, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory; and Years 1 to 10 in the Northern Territory.

For the 2011 collection period, attendance rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were largely consistent for Years 1 to 6, then dropping from Years 7 to 10. The drop in attendance rates from Year 7 onwards is more pronounced than the drop in attendance rates from Year 8 for non-Indigenous students. All jurisdictions exhibit similar trends.

In 2011, the gaps between attendance rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students compared to non-Indigenous students was minimal for Tasmanian government schools where for Years 1–6 the difference did not exceed two percentage points.

The Northern Territory government school sector had large gaps between attendance rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and non-Indigenous students for all year levels, with gaps in attendance rates ranging from 19 to 27 percentage points. The largest gap in the Northern Territory was for Year 9, where the attendance rate for non-Indigenous students was 27 percentage points higher than attendance rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Between 2010 and 2011 the gaps between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous student attendance rates did not increase by more than two percentage points for 74 of the 80 state/territory year cohorts. The six exceptions are for Year 10 in New South Wales, Years 7, 9 and 10 in Tasmania, Year 1 in the Northern Territory and Year 3 in the Australian Capital Territory. There have also been four state/territory year cohorts where the gaps between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous attendance rates reduced by more than two percentage points from 2010 to 2011. These are Year 8 in Tasmania, Year 9 in the Northern Territory and Years 1 and 5 in the Australian Capital Territory.
 

Non-government sectors

Care should be taken when interpreting attendance rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in non-government schools, particularly by year levels, due to the relatively low number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled.

Due to the relatively low number of enrolled students and high variability between year levels, limited commentary is provided on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student attendance rates in non-government schools (especially for jurisdictions with low enrolment numbers).
 

Catholic school sector

Total full-time and part-time student numbers were lowest in the Australian Capital Territory (236) and highest in New South Wales (5,413) followed by Queensland (4,438).

For New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania, attendance rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were largely consistent for all year levels, with six percentage point variations between year levels.

The Northern Territory recorded large gaps between attendance rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students compared to non-Indigenous students for all year levels, with attendance rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students between 12 and 32 percentage points lower than for non-Indigenous students. The largest gap was for Year 10, where the attendance rate for non-Indigenous students was 32 percentage points higher than the attendance rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and, compared to 2010, the gap has increased by 13 percentage points.

Independent school sector

Total full-time and part-time students were lowest in the Australian Capital Territory (48) and Tasmania (218) and highest in Queensland (3,035) followed by New South Wales (1,776).

Between 2010 and 2011, the gaps between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous student attendance rates in independent schools improved for Year 10 in all jurisdictions except for South Australia and the Northern Territory. For the Northern Territory, the gap between Year 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous student attendance rates fell by 9 percentage points compared to 2010.

 

 


¹ Except for NSW government schools, which will comply with the new standards from 2015